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Pierre Bequet

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David Roseveare27/12/2012 21:42:00
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French philately has been dealt a bad blow with the death of Pierre Bequet on the 21st December. He was the inspiration for all my work, having known him for over thirty years. I have been fortunate to have met many French designers and I rank Pierre as the best of all. Always friendly and willing to help, he treated me as one of his own.

He will be deeply missed....

David Roseveare, "From Grandeur to Gravure".

Plymouth.

Adrian28/12/2012 08:16:37
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1821 forum posts
954 photos
4 articles

Hi David,

Welcome to the Stamp Magazine forum!

I'm sorry to read about you losing a personal friend in Pierre Béquet. I had read the news yesterday on the Cercle des Amis de Marianne website, and had already written a little something on this forum.

But it's good to read a more personal account of the man, and it seems he warmly embraced all the trappings of his obvious great gift.

I must say I am intrigued by the 'From Grandeur to Graveur' bit of your message. I've done a bit of googling and I understand it's the name of your collection? Would love to hear/see more about that!

David Roseveare28/12/2012 18:46:30
28 forum posts
14 photos

Hello Adrian,

"From Grandeur to Gravure" is the title of my thematic study on the life and works of Pierre Bequet. I qualified at international class in 2006 and my presentation appeared in the Court of Honour at the Paris international event in 2010. I possess all the issues produced by the artist. Also he taught me about the postal history of Versailles, what to look out for, what or not to believe etc. He was not the only French designer I have known. Previously I knew Pierre Gandon, there were only two people who had the complete works; I was one of them.

French stamp creators are underrated; I will continue to admire them. If you are tempted to specialise in an artist's work, I recommend Elsa Catelin (one for the future).

Regards, David

Michael Chambers28/12/2012 20:22:21
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277 forum posts
255 photos

Hello David

It was sad to hear about the death of Pierre Bequet. Thank you (and to Adrian) for drawing this to everyone's attention. I know that as a young man he was awarded the Prix de Rome for engraving and so clearly had prodigious talent. I gather he engraved some 700 or so stamps for 36 different countries!. Quite a career! I hope that people will look out for his stamps. As you have clearly found, It sounds like a very enjoyable collecting challenge. It would be fascinating to see your presentation. I hope you might display it in London some time.

For those keen to find out more about his work, incidentally, all of his 100 or so French stamps (with information about each of them) can be viewed on the website www.phil-ouest.com Just click on 'Artistes' and then on his name.

I note your reference to Pierre Gandon. I'm also a great admirer of his and, in fact, have written an article about him and his work. However, I'm looking for a good high resolution photograph of Gandon to accompany it. If you happened to have any suggestions about this I would love to hear from you.

Regards

Michael

Adrian29/12/2012 19:12:04
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1821 forum posts
954 photos
4 articles

I like the idea of focusing on one engraver, and in Michael's thread we have been pondering the same possibilities. So, having ready your Elsa Catelin tip, I had a quick look in my French album, which is not so rich in recent issues, but I did notice I have one Catelin stamp, and a pretty smart one at that.

29c.jpg

So that's at least a start!

When you mention having complete works, David, I presume you mean more than 'just' all the basic stamps? If so, what does 'complete' entail? Do you specialise traditionally, i.e. with cylinder blocks, dated corners, etc, or would complete mean having additional items such as die proofs, épreuves de luxe, etc. ? Or maybe even non-stamp artwork?

David Roseveare29/12/2012 19:35:45
28 forum posts
14 photos

Hello Adrian,

As well as having all of Pierre's issues I have a large collection of his non-stamp artwork. His annual New-Year cards (sadly gone) featured his illustrations, always on the theme of "time". He also produced personal items, one of which is a marriage invitation to his daughter's wedding. He was a great producer of first-day cover designs, special cancellations and book illustrations. I own his book, produced in 2009, which contains many of his works. Obviously I have proofs, imperfs and other items. He was an expert on Versailles and collaborated with the author Jacques Vuillard on a number of occasions.

The expert on the definitive series "Marianne de Bequet" is Jean Renard who is involved with the Marianne society in France. He exhibits at international level. Many years ago, when my Bequet became serious, Pierre told me to concentrate on the thematic aspect of his work, Jean specialised in the definitive side of things. My definitive section is small compared with his, but I have all the revelant issues.

I hope that this information is useful. Elsa Catelin attends the annual November Salon in Paris. I first met her when Pierre was unable to finish a stamp for TAAF and she kindly completed the task. She is a brilliant designer and engraver.

Regards, David

Adrian29/12/2012 20:13:43
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1821 forum posts
954 photos
4 articles

Very useful, thank you. I'm getting more and more excited to start working on Elsa Catelin! I've seen some of her other work which looks very good indeed. Not so sure about the dolls issue yet, but maybe that looks better in real life.

I suppose I'd better brush up my French and get myself down to Paris next year (any excuse!). I've never actually been to one of those Paris Salons, but have always wanted to. Are they very crowded or would it be possible to spend a bit of quality time with an engraver?

Adrian11/01/2013 09:14:13
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1821 forum posts
954 photos
4 articles

Check out our latest blog, on Elsa, here!

David Roseveare11/01/2013 16:47:46
28 forum posts
14 photos

Hello Adrian,

I told you Elsa was good! She speaks English as well. Pierre Bequet thought the world of her. There was often friction between the designer and engraver when work on a single stamp was shared between them. Pierre indicated to me that he didn't get along with Claude Durrens at times.

David Roseveare

David Roseveare11/01/2013 22:23:36
28 forum posts
14 photos

Hello Adrian,

I haven't mentioned so far how I first got to know about Elsa Catelin. In 2006 Pierre Bequet was due to design and engrave a stamp for the French Southern and Antarctic Territories commemorating Albert Seyrolle. Pierre completed the design but soon after he developed heart problems and unfortunately could not complete the engraving.Elsa was given the task of completing it. She only started her career two years before that date, being offered the job of working at the State Printing Works with Claude Jumelet and Jacky Larriviere. On the bottom of the Seyrolle stamp you will see the names of 'Bequet' and 'Catelin'.

Regards,

David

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